Most of the winter days accompanied by light rain, are spent indoors, with Netflix and warm blankets. However, studies have shown that spending time in nature has a positive impact on health. People who live in green areas experience fewer feelings of depression, walking in the woods reduces stress, and a green office environment contributes to employee productivity. Now that the days are getting a little longer, there is no more excuse to stay indoors. Here are some ways to help you embrace nature in your daily life!
1) Let Children Play Outdoors
In some countries like Sweden, people embrace living with nature as a proper lifestyle and parenting strategy. Children spend far more time playing outdoors than indoors. An important reason for this is that these parents are less concerned about risks such as falls, scratches, and dirty clothes. So, do yourself a favour and do it the Swedish way: encourage your children to play outside and ignore the iPad. Whether you have children or not, go to forests, parks, beaches, children’s farms, nature reserves, etc., frequently and be amazed by the seasonal changes in nature.
2) Bringing Nature into Everyday Life
Having a quick lunch behind your laptop to get rid of your exploding inbox is counterproductive. Walking outside during lunchtime will empty your mind and help you start the afternoon with fresh energy or take your laptop out and work in the sun for 15 minutes. Playing sports can help you feel closer to nature. More and more sports classes are held in parks, but of course, you can also run alone or ride a mountain bike outdoors. Instead of taking the streetcar or bus for your last walk, take a 10-minute walk to feel a little more connected to nature. You can also increase your contact with nature by going shopping on foot or by bicycle.
3) Digital Detox
In nature, the pace is much lower, processes are not rushed, and we thrive slowly. We need to get away from our hectic daily lives and rat race to deepen our connection with nature. This means ditching cell phones, iPads, and TVs and learning how to slow down. Take time to enjoy the here and now more, whether it’s a cup of good coffee with the perfect froth, a chat with a neighbour, or watching a beautiful sunset. In other words, slow down a bit and be present. Many people think that if they don’t speed up, they lose something. Ironically, the opposite is true; if you don’t slow down, you will miss out on the beauty that is right in front of you.
4) Harvesting Your Fruits and Vegetables
There are more and more initiatives in urban areas to go out into nature and harvest fruits and vegetables by yourself. For instance, in Amsterdam, there is the “Amsterdam West Fruit Garden”, where you can not only harvest delicious fruits from the orchard but also participate in workshops where children and adults can grow their vegetables. Do you live in the countryside? Then get food directly from the soil more often and visit the local farmers.
5) Start With Pruning or Build your Garden
There is nothing that brings you closer to nature than growing your plants. You can experience the power of nature and see how bulbs, seeds, and pruning turn into real plants. If you have a garden or balcony, you can go big, but a pot with (herb) plants will add to the joy even if you don’t have outdoor space. Besides, gardening can also be an enjoyable activity for kids, and they will be happy to have a beautiful and fruitful harvest.
What else do you do to bring nature into your everyday life? Share your tips with us in the comments below!